Is tourism damaging ecosystems in the Andes? Current knowledge and an agenda for future research
Despite the popularity of tourism and recreation in the Andes in South America and the regions conservation value, there is limited research on the ecological impacts of these types of anthropogenic use. Using a systematic quantitative literature review method, we found 47 recreation ecology studies from the Andes, 25 of which used an experimental design. Most of these were from the Southern Andes in Argentina (13 studies) or Chile (eight studies) with only four studies from the Northern Andes. These studies documented a range of impacts on vegetation, birds and mammals; including changes in plant species richness, composition and vegetation cover and the tolerance of wildlife of visitor use. There was little research on the impacts of visitors on soils and aquatic systems and for some ecoregions in the Andes. We identify research priorities across the region that will enhance management strategies to minimise visitor impacts in Andean ecosystems.
Barros, A.*, Monz, C., & Pickering, C. (2014). Is tourism damaging ecosystems in the Andes? Current knowledge and an agenda for future research. Ambio, 1-‐‐17.